LaGuardia Community College Students Take First and Second Place in Federal Reserve Bank Video Competition

Long Island City, NY– LaGuardia Community College student filmmakers rose to the challenge put to college students at six metropolitan area colleges to produce a thirty-second public service announcement to promote awareness about personal finances among their peers.  Not only were eight of the 11 projects submitted from LaGuardia, but LaGuardia students took first and second place in a contest sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Manhattan Borough President’s Office.

LaGuardia was the only community college to answer a call from the Federal Reserve Bank to have their aspiring student filmmakers produce 30-second public service announcements for the “Financial Awareness Video Competition.”  The videos were required to cover such financial issues as credit management, bank accounts, credit products, identity theft and savings.  

“Given the importance of financial literacy,” said Kausar Hamdani, Senior Vice President and Community Affairs Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, “we created this competition as a way to engage young people and to promote financial awareness among them.”

Professor Joyce Rheuban, LaGuardia’s director of media programs, noted that when the deadline came to send in her students’ submissions she was not surprised at the quantity and quality of their PSAs. “Our students produced creative, powerful and technologically sophisticated videos,” she said.

Byron Guinanzaca, Christian Guinanzaca and Estela Melendez, took first-place with their video “Think Twice Before You Swipe,” which warns young people about the careless use of credit cards.  Their PSA will be screened between feature films at multiplex theaters throughout New York City.  The winners were also awarded internships at the Tribeca Film Institute.

In Shaun Sato’s second-place video, a stand up comedian’s routine on debt sends a clear message, “Debt is not a joke.  Be responsible.”  He won a networking luncheon with Tribeca officials and an all-access pass to the Tribeca Film Festival.

“The success of our students in the Federal Reserve Bank competition is just another example of the outstanding skills of our students,” said Peter Katopes, LaGuardia’s Interim President.  “Our media arts and technology programs attract first-rate students and our extraordinary faculty are helping these young filmmakers develop the skills needed to succeed in an extremely competitive industry.”

To see all eight projects, go to . Click on See our student videos.

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Located in Long Island City, Queens in New York City, LaGuardia Community College, part of the City University of New York, is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges. Founded in 1971, the College has been recognized as an innovator in educating students who are under prepared for college work and/or are not primary English speakers. A catalyst for development in western Queens and beyond, LaGuardia serves New Yorkers and immigrants from 160 countries through 50 majors and certificate programs, enabling career advancement and transfer to four-year colleges at twice the national average. Visit to learn more.